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20 Interviews and No Job – What Am I Doing Wrong?

04 Mar Posted by admin in Interview Tips | 5 comments

Your CV is spectacular; your cover letter engaging. You’ve been to numerous interviews and everyone was smiles and nods, but you still don’t have a job.

What’s gone wrong?

Most likely if you’ve had a number of interviews, you can assume your CV, covering letter and follow-up are good. Just as likely, your qualifications and experience are also a good match for the positions for which you are applying.

That leaves your interview and follow-up as the likely culprits.

Check to make sure you are following the basics of good interview techniques:

- Dress to impress

- Maintain eye contact

- Smile

- Shake hands firmly

- Speak clearly and evenly

- Answer the questions asked without digressing

- Use real-life examples that speak to the skills and qualities needed in the job

- Do not enquire about salary at the interview

- Ask pointed questions that demonstrate your knowledge of the company when given the opportunity

- Follow up after the interview frequently in writing and by telephone

In my experience, one of the biggest killers in an interview occurs when the candidate lacks confidence and displays nervousness. This can translate as inexperience and inability to a potential employer. These candidates fidget, avoid eye contact, stumble over their answers and don’t provide examples that demonstrate the skills required.

Employers want to hire candidates that exude confidence without being arrogant. They want to hear solid facts and details that demonstrate you can do the job. The best way to exhibit confidence and experience is through role playing and practise. Practise in front of a mirror; role play with a friend. Practise until answers and conversation come naturally and without hesitation.

If you follow these tips and are still having difficulty finding employment, you may want to take a look at your salary expectations. If you’ve provided the employer a salary range at any stage of the process, they may feel your expectations are unrealistic. Try to avoid conversations regarding salary requirements until after the employer has made an offer of employment, and let them make the opening bid.



    What happens if my interview goes well? I’ve had some interviews that have really gone well,but the employer has just either recruited internally or has found someone with an exact skill set.

    Also, I’ve been on interviews where the feedback given was that I was over-experienced for the role (even though it was at the same level as before). How do I overcome this problem? It is quite frustrating?? Do you also think Recruitmet Agencies should reduce their fees and ensure they deal with their existing candidate pool rather than searching for more new candidates? The old candidate pool it seems get neglected as I have found on many ocassions. Please advise. Dhirendra

    • The Recruitment Queen06-06-12


      I can understand this frustration so lets take one at a time. The feedback you are getting is very general and is unlikely to be the real truth if I am being honest. Internal recruitment 99% of the time happens before external so this would have been known at the outset. If they do have the exact skill set then fair enough and perhaps you can be more specific and identify jobs which show that you have the exact skill set for those roles.

      The overqualified and underqualified feedback needs to be ruled out before you even go for the interview. So you need to be aware that you are likely to be one or the other and then know how to overcome the objections. Where you have been in the same role and they feel you are overqualified, maybe they felt you had done it for too long and wouldn’t stay very long, I don’t know without knowing the specifics, but you do need to be asking open questions to understand in what way they think you are overqualified.

      And finally agencies, I do think agencies should charge lower fees, but I don’t understand how the fee they charge has any impact on you, so I am intrigued at the fact you raise it?

      With regard to their candidate pool, I can be honest and say that if agencies relied on their current candidate pool they wouldn’t make money. As soon as many candidates are registered they then get a job. To be honest if an agency isn’t arranging interviews for you immediately, hand on heart they probably don’t think they can, so you are not going to be a suitable candidate for them in terms of the opportunities they get in. But there will be an agency who does happen to have the right job for you, it is all about the timing with agencies as well as the candidate being the right fit.

      I hope this helps and thank you for your comments.

  2. Simon Wallace09-03-12

    The Recruitment Queen is absolutely right, and one question you are bound to get asked is: ‘tell me about yourself’. So many people I have interviewed start giving me their life history at this point. I pretty much know that; it’s on your CV. Instead, tell me about you, what makes you tick? What makes you different from everyone else? What can I say ‘Wow, that’s interesting’ about?

    Give me a wow answer and you are probably half way there.

    Also, recruitment firms work for companies, not individuals, so don’t expect any favours from them.

  3. Manien02-21-13

    It really depends how many people are gonna be interviewed with you for the same position. If there are 10 people f.e, then you have 10% possibilities to succeed. Of course your skills play a role. But apart from that it is a lottery thing. You may succeed in your first interview, you may never get an offer.

  4. Natukunda Alice01-10-14

    I am grateful for these guiding tips and would like to read more.

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